Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Mutation Theory

Proposal in 1903 that new forms or even species arise by mutations that occur randomly in a population and are then acted upon by natural selection. In the form proposed by Dutch botanist Hugo De Vries (1848-1935), these mutations were saltational, a theme supported for a time by certain others (see hopeful monsters) but that gave way gradually to neo-Darwinism as the roles of segregation and crossing over became better understood.

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